Beetroot Salad with Goat’s Cheese Beignet
…with beetroot meringue, toasted walnuts, and maple dressing
Courtesy of Jack Lucas (MasterChef UK winner)
Note: This recipe combines sous vide technique with traditional methods.
For the beetroot
- 1 bunch (medium) red beets/beetroots, scrubbed and trimmed
- 1 bunch (medium) yellow beets/beetroots, scrubbed and trimmed
- 1 bunch small radishes
- 10 ounces (300 g) assorted salad leaves, including rocket, baby spinach
- 2/3 cup (75 g) walnuts, lightly toasted in the oven
For the dressing
- 2 ½ tablespoons (40 ml) sherry vinegar
- 5 tablespoons (80 ml) Canadian maple syrup
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) rapeseed oil
For the beignets
- 2 pots (4 ounces/115 g) soft goats cheese
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (50 ml) double cream
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup (100 g) flour, for dusting
- 2 cups (150 g) fresh bread crumbs, for rolling
For the meringue
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) beet/beetroot juice
- Additional walnuts, lightly toasted
- Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme water oven to 180F/82C, the traditional oven to 150F/65C (or ‘warm’) and a deep fat fryer to 325F/160 C.
- Wash and peel the red and yellow beets/beetroots. Set one beet of each color aside for later use. Cut the remaining beets roughly 8 wedges.
- Separate the red and yellow beet/beetroot wedges, putting them in a single layer into separate cooking pouches, with a little oil, salt, and pepper; vacuum seal the pouches.
- Submerge the pouches in the water oven to cook for 1 hour, until tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the remaining elements
- Make the dressing: put the vinegar, syrup, salt and pepper into a bowl. Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream, while blending with a stick blender or whisking vigorously, to emulsify. Set aside.
- Slice the reserved beets/beetroots and radishes into thin slices on a mandolin. Put the slices into a cooking pouch with about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the dressing and seal under full pressure, using the Normal and Moist settings on a suction sealer. Take care that the dressing does not flow into the sealing chamber. Manually force the seal with Seal Only function, if needed. Set aside. (These are not cooked, just compressed raw.)
- Make the beet/beetroot meringues:
- In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- With the mixer still running, gradually add in the sugar and continue to beat until all is mixed in. Still beating, add the beetroot juice.
- Transfer the pink mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in small semi-circular domes.
- Put the baking sheet into the warm oven for 3 hours until the meringues are cooked through and crisp.
- Make the beignets:
- In a bowl, beat the cream into the goat’s cheese, mixing until smooth.
- Transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in thick 1-1/2 inch (3 cm) long cylinders.
- Put the cylinders into the freezer to firm up for about an hour or two.
- Put the flour and the bread crumbs into separate shallow bowl. In a third shallow bowl, beat the eggs with some water to make a wash.
- Remove the cylinders the freezer and dust them with the flour.
- Dip each dusted cylinder in the egg wash to coat and roll in the breadcrumbs to cover.
- When ready to assemble the salads, deep fry the goat’s cheese cylinders in the deep fryer until golden (step 3 below). Transfer to paper towel (kitchen paper) to drain and plate.
To assemble the salad
- Lightly dress salad leaves in a large mixing bowl with some of the maple dressing.
- Add the cooked beetroot, the compressed ‘raw’ slices, and the toasted walnuts; toss to combine.
- Divide the dressed salad among four plates.
- Put deep-fried beignets and beetroot meringues on top of each portion.
- Drizzle a little more dressing over the salad, scatter a few toasted walnuts on top, and tuck in!